I have noticed an increase in auto exhausts sound and a decrease in the sound of mopeds where I live.
I just found your organization and website. What a great service to the community.
It appears we have the laws but there is no enforcement. What about auto safety checks. I'm all for increasing the cost of the safety checks if it includes a check for auto exhaust sounds.
Thank you for what you are doing. I plan to write all of the state legislators about this issue.
Quieter O'ahu Response:
Thank you for your note and taking the time to contact us.
Perhaps it's the case that the loud moped riders have now matured to loud auto exhausts. Some tongue in cheek there, but seriously, noise ebbs and flows in and around communities for many reasons.
In terms of vehicle inspections, the Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection (PMVI) guides for passenger vehicles and motorcycles require inspection of the exhaust system. You can check line 6 inspection guidance in the PMVI Guide at link below, but it says:
"EXHAUST SYSTEM (Line 6)
The exhaust system is designed to do two things: (1) direct exhaust fumes away from the passenger compartment and (2) reduce the noise emitted by the engine.
►It is leaking so as to be a health hazard to occupants.
►Any component part is not securely fastened.
►Any component part is missing, equipped with exhaust cut-outs, by-pass or similar
►Emits a much louder noise than that emitted by the vehicle as equipped from the
Although in most cases it's common sense when aftermarket super-charged and super-loud exhausts are emitting "a much louder noise," but both the vehicle inspectors and HPD fall back to the phrase being a matter of interpretation and ambiguous and, therefore, it's not enforced. As you pointed out, we have the laws, we just don't anyone with the will to enforce these laws.
But taking the Devil's Advocate position, let's say that "a much louder noise" is ambiguous. One thing we have been lobbying for is changing the wording for ALL noise and related legislation by adopting the "Plainly Audible Standard." Imagine instead of saying "much louder than" it simply said "if the exhausts can be heard under normal street operations (not at idle) at a distance of more than 75 feet, then the exhaust is in violation of State noise emission standards and will be failed." Now, again argumentatively, we would need to further tighten the wording and select the appropriate distance, but by changing from something deemed as interpretative and ambiguous to something that is easily understood and enforced, we would have taken a big step forward. This "Plainly Audible Standard" could be applied to ANY noise problem: your neighbors stereo, loud "Boom Car" stereos, auto and truck exhausts, motorcycle exhausts, gas powered landscaping equipment, literally everything. Read more on the "Plainly Audible Standard" here: https://ilsr.org/rule/noise-pollution/2446-2/
That said, we already have at least one ordinance passed based on the "Plainly Audible Standard." Revised Ordinances of Honolulu (ROH) Section 41-31.1 Prohibited Noise ( https://www.quieteroahu.com/hawaii-noise-laws.html ) was passed in an attempt to control the out-of-control high-powered super-amplified auto stereos. The ordinance says simply that if you can hear a stereo 30 feet from the car, it's illegal. Arguably, 30 feet may be too close, but at least it was an attempt to regulate this horrible noise. Result: as expected, no enforcement by HPD.
But still, we try. We will add you to our distribution list. We only email if there's something significant happening on the noise front, but you can unsubscribe at any time if we become bothersome. We recommend to everyone that if not already participating that they become active in their Neighborhood Board and actively steer that board to address noise as a community quality of life issue. Push rewrites of currently ambiguous laws to incorporate the "Plainly Audible Standard" and push legislators to demand enforcement of existing laws by HPD. If enough people ultimately do that, we have a chance to change things for the better.